A new report indicates that DC Comics has removed Tom King from their Batman series.
The report comes from Rich Johnston and Bleeding Cool and states that King will exit the series after Batman #85. They also note that King did not make the decision.
King appears to have addressed the rumors on Twitter simply writing, “So many kind notes. You all rock.”
So many kind notes. You all rock.
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) May 22, 2019
Tom King took over Batman with Batman: Rebirth in 2016 following his Vertigo Comics run on Sheriff of Babylon.
King had previously indicated that his Batman run was going to be a 100 issue story and he described it as “documenting and celebrating the love of Batman and Catwoman.” He added, “Whatever happens, whatever anyone says, nothing’s going to spoil that.”
In fact, he had previously revealed his run would be 100 issues back at New York Comic Con in 2017.
“If you look back at my issue 1, I knew I wanted to do 100 issues of this book and I wanted to focus on Bruce and Selina’s relationship as the core of the run.”
However, Catwoman didn’t show up in his Batman run until Batman #9.
More recently, King spoke with The Hollywood Reporter indicating that he planned on changing Batman “for a generation or maybe more. Maybe forever.”
“What we’re going to do for the last 15 issues is something no one’s ever seen for the character. It’s something that’s going to change the character for a generation, or maybe more. Maybe forever.”
If this report is true, DC Comics might have removed King due to flagging sales on their flagship title.
Scott Snyder’s run on the book ended with Batman #52 in May of 2016 and shipped 102,197 copes according to Comichron. King’s Batman #1 would ship 280,360 units in June of 2016. Those sales have come crumbling down.
The most recent issue of Batman, Batman #69 only shipped 88,666 units. It would be the fifth most shipped book, but would be beat by Scott Snyder’s Batman Who Laughs #4, Marvel’s Immortal Hulk #16, and the debut issues of Marvel’s War of Realms and Symbiote Spider-Man.
Not only has King’s Batman flagged in sales, but it has come under increasing criticism with many believing he is writing a radically different than Batman and Bruce Wayne.
In fact, Wes Daugherity at Bleeding Fool recently questioned, “When is the right time to drop Tom King’s Batman series?” The question came after King’s latest Batman #71. But he didn’t stop with questioning whether to drop the series. He stated, “DC Comics is heading [down] an extremely disturbing direction. They destroyed Superman, Batman and Wally West Flash.”
Daugherity is not alone in his criticism.
This week in Comics Are Garbage, Tom King’s Batman violently punches one of his allies in the face for no goddamn reason! Fuck you, DC! pic.twitter.com/nR6FSVEcwz
— Matt Invictus (@Atlanta962) May 15, 2019
At the hands of Tom King, Batman have gone from hero to someone who beats his own child.
Yeah, give me more reasons to dislike King. https://t.co/nHdZUJdNEr
— Spider-Fan (@sapidermun) May 15, 2019
Fans were mixed to the rumor that King is off Batman with many believing DC Comics are throwing away an opportunity while others believe it is a good move.
Best news I’ve heard in a LONG time. Tom King is the worst writer that DC has and he’s ruined Batman, Wally, etc. Thank you @DCComics, I’ll be subscribing again starting at issue 86! https://t.co/DRFrGwSjz8
— The Dork Knight (@CrisisOnC137) May 22, 2019
I haven’t read Tom King’s Batman since like issue 12 (dropped off reading weekly then and haven’t gone back into rebirth since except to read the wedding issue) but it’d be a shame if you let him write it for this long but don’t let him finish his story. He’s so close to the end
— Jeremy Horton (@LittleHooty) May 22, 2019
If DC Comics does end Tom King’s Batman run early it’ll go down as one of the worst decisions in their publishing history. How disrespectful to the creators, and the character currently celebrating his 80th anniversary to do that. And King just did press talking about the next 30
— Richard Newby (@RICHARDLNEWBY) May 22, 2019
WOW! I wonder if this is because he couldn't stand the criticism from fans as Tom King seems like a bit of a snowflake or DC just thought his story was shit.
I wonder if he's still going to 'change Batman forever' now? https://t.co/oDmp145DVk
— Mr. Bat-man 🍁🦇 (@KnightWing19) May 22, 2019
If this news is true about Tom King getting his run on Batman cut early, DC will have pissed away my goodwill that returned after Rebirth. It would be an idiotic decision to ruin this for a critically acclaimed writer, the artists he works with, and the fans. There is absolutely
— Comics Dude (@TheComic_Dude) May 22, 2019
What do you make about this rumor? Do you think King should be able to finish his run on Batman? Or do you think DC Comics should pull the trigger earlier?